Bacon. One word, so many dreamy possibilities. My favorite way to eat bacon is by ‘candy-ing’ it. The first time I actually made candied bacon I was smitten. I made Cayenne Candied Bacon, Whiskey Peach Candied Bacon, Pear Candied Bacon… you name it. I went nuts. Bacon is a staple in our home as it should be. We raise hogs, they make bacon. Yay, win-win. Locker bacon is great and we have plenty but if I want to splurge I purchase Hormel’s Black Label Thick Cut Pecanwood Smoked Bacon. *I’m not being paid to promote this product, my opinions are my own. Yep!
I had a wonderful photographer in my kitchen today named Gary, he works for Farm Bureau and the photographs he took today will be used for their Family Living magazine (April edition). We had a nice visit and ate all of the things we took pictures of today. He had a SWEET camera and when he put up his equipment it forced my 2 year old son into a tantrum. Always interesting when we’re all at home together! Thanks to my sweet mother-in-love for coming over and keeping watch over the herd while we worked away.
I should note I also had a glass of wine GASP! at noon, on a Thursday. (I guess my mother-in-law did too so that makes it okay, right?) I’m not a drinker, really. But the wine hit the spot and my legs were burning (my first indicator of a buzz) halfway through the glass. Sweet. I do love Sutter Home’s Chenin Blanc, it happens to be the wine pairing I paired with my Sour Apple Pork Burger which is featured as a finalist entry in Sutter Home Winery’s Build A Better Burger national burger cook-off in May. See that recipe here. To learn more about the competition and enter in the future, visit the Sutter Home Build A Better Burger blog.
Here’s the burger… Gary’s photos will be much better than my amateur ones! Anyway… it was a great lunch until I realized I shouldn’t be eating a burger. I’m having gallbladder surgery soon and rich foods KILL me… I was really enjoying myself, and the wine… so I had 1/2 of this burger. Delicious.
Seriously, all of you ‘sweet’ wine drinkers out there… try this: Sutter Home Chenin Blanc. It is a bit lighter than the typical Moscato I go for… I feel less like a wine ‘newbs’ drinking this. (Maybe because of the fancy name I still am unsure of how to pronounce?) This will definitely be my summer-go-to wine. Score.
Here’s the easy way to foolproof bacon candy! *full recipe at the end of the post.
Line up your THICK slices of bacon on a wire rack within a cookie sheet. Bake them for 15 minutes in a 400 degree preheated oven.
Meanwhile, assemble your apple butter glaze mixture. Brown sugar, cayenne pepper, apple butter and wine. (This photo was taken before the addition of the wine, oops!)
Mix ‘er up. Wine is in there now!
Spread this mixture evenly on the top side of the par-cooked bacon.
Return bacon to 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Cooking times will vary due to actual thickness of bacon. Remove when bacon is cooked (not crisp) and apple butter mixture has caramelized.
Let cool 5-10 minutes and serve to willing children… (who already ate it this morning with no problems)
Then let the surprised, cross eyed tongue lashing ensue… (Apparently I over-did the cayenne for her tastes on this batch).
Spicy Apple Candied Bacon
1 lb. thick cut smoked bacon (Hormel Black Label Pecanwood Thick Cut Smoked Bacon)
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 C apple butter
3 TBSP Sutter Home Chenin Blanc Wine (can sub apple juice or a different white wine)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place bacon strips onto a wire rack topped baking sheet. Bake strips in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine brown sugar, apple butter, cayenne pepper and wine in a small bowl. Stir to combine. When timer for bacon sounds, remove bacon from the oven. Spread sugar mixture onto each strip evenly. Return to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes until bacon is cooked, but not yet crisp and the sugar mixture is caramelized. (Watch closely.) Remove from oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve warm. Makes 1 pound of bacon. *Cooking times will vary based upon the thickness of bacon used.
Whiskey Spicy Peach Candied Bacon: Substitute whiskey for wine, peach jam for apple butter and all other ingredients stay the same.
Spicy Pear Candied Bacon: Substitute pear jam for apple butter, all other ingredients stay the same.
Spicy Praline Bacon Candy: Add 1/2 C finely chopped pecans to 1/3 C brown sugar, add 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, add 2 TBSP wine or apple juice, spread onto par-cooked bacon, return to oven to bake until nuts are toasted and sugar is caramelized. Cool until warm. (10 min).
Oh, and if you made it this far… check out my new vintage friend in the kitchen. So sweet… he needs a name. I’ll come up with that for next time!